Shirley Gertsch Bartels on Peter and Pete Gertsch

Peter Gertsch, his wife Katy Tannler and his brother Fred (known as Fritz) came to Garden Home from Switzerland and settled on property off of Oleson Road sometime in the 1890’s. This property was on the west side of Oleson Road, north of the Frank Farm. The brothers decided to go into the dairy business and built a barn, cleared the land and built a house.

A son whom they called “Pete” to distinguish him from his father, Peter, was born to Katie and Peter but in July of 1895, when the child was 6 weeks old, his father died. Honoring the custom of their Swiss heritage it was decided to send to Switzerland for the remaining brother, Christian, to come to America and marry his brother’s widow. Katie and Christian Gertsch were married and had two sons, Albert and Christian, who were half-brothers to Pete. Katie and Christian raised Pete and the dairy was later passed on to Pete who ran it until the mid-1950s

Pete Gertsch married Rosalie Balmer who was from a local dairy family. Their daughter, Shirley Gertsch Bartels grew up on the Gertsch property, attending Garden Home School, Beaverton High School and graduating from Oregon State University in 1960. The brothers decided to go into the dairy business and built a barn, cleared the land and built a house. After purchasing cows from the Hoffman, Balmer dairy, they named their new place Shattuck Dairy.

In 1955 Pete sold the last of 100 dairy cows he maintained and in 1958 sold 33 acres to W.C. Bauman. The remaining 26 acres, which included the house he had built for his wife Rosalie, was sold to Mr. Bauman in1976. According to Shirley, her father had requested that Mr. Bauman set aside some of the land for a school.

The land was developed as Arranmore, a housing subdivision. On the western side of Oleson Road, directly across from SW Miles Court, stands a Colorado Blue Spruce planted in 1939 by Pete for Rosalie and daughter, Shirley. It was directly in front of their house that was built in 1935. The house is no longer there but if you drive slowly down Oleson Road and look to the west you can see the tree.

Montclair School was built on what was the northern edge of the old dairy. The school opened in 1970 and is an elementary school in the Beaverton School District.

By Virginia G. Vanture, June 2, 2010, from an interview with Shirley Gertsch Bartels, the daughter of Pete Gertsch, granddaughter of Peter Gertsch.

New photos sent by Shirley Gertsch Bartels of her parents and grandparents

November, 2019. These photos have come my way and help to tell the story of the Gertsch family who developed the new Shattuck Dairy in the late 1890s. That property is now the Arranmore housing development and the Montclair School.

Paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Christ and Katie Gertsch

Christian Gertsch (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler Gertsch (1871-1948) are the paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels. Christian went by “Christ”, pronounced with a soft “i”, as in “mist”.

You’ll remember that the brothers Peter and Fritz Gertsch came from Switzerland to establish dairies in the new Oregon territory. Peter Gertsch married Katie Tannler and was soon the father of a young son, named Pete Gertsch. Alas, Peter died suddenly while the baby was still an infant. In the tradition of the Swiss families, the brother Christian was summoned from Switzerland to take on Peter’s role. Christian then married his brother’s widow, Katie, and became the stepfather to young Pete.

Christ (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler (1871-1948) Gertsch. Stepfather and mother of Pete Gertsch and paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Christ (1869-1949) and Katie Tannler (1871-1948) Gertsch. Stepfather and mother of Pete Gertsch and paternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Christ and Rosalie Balmer

Christian Balmer (1860-1941) and Rosalie Gloor Balmer (1871-1957) are the maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels. This Christian also went by “Christ”. Christ and Rosalie Balmer were the parents of Rosalie Balmer Gertsch. Yes, mother and daughter were both named Rosalie. The Balmer family was involved with the local dairy of John Hoffman further east on SW Vermont Ave. and into the (now) Burlingame area.

Christ and Rosalie Balmer. Parents of Rosalie Gertsch and maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Christ and Rosalie Balmer. Parents of Rosalie Gertsch and maternal grandparents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels: Peter Albert Gertsch and Rosalie Balmer Gertsch

This young Pete (named Peter Albert Gertsch) grew up in the dairy and inherited it. Pete (1895-1972) married Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and went on to become parents to today’s Shirley Gertsch Bartels who grew up in Garden Home, attended Oregon State, and married her veterinarian husband, Dr. Jan Bartels.

Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and Peter Albert Gertsch (1895-1972). Married May 15 1935. Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

Rosalie Balmer Gertsch (1900-1977) and Peter Albert Gertsch (1895-1972). Married May 15 1935. Parents of Shirley Gertsch Bartels

This entry was posted in Dairies, Early History, Homes, People and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Shirley Gertsch Bartels on Peter and Pete Gertsch

  1. Peter Albert Gertsch says:

    The 1909 farm house on the Gertsch Estate is still standing. I lived there with my father (Fred), my mother (Olive), and my brother (Robert) from 1956 to 1968. The 4.5 acres is now called Timber Ridge.

    • peter A gertsch says:

      The house had 13 rooms a basement and two garages and a cannning room with many apple trees walnut trees an a cherry tree. Also there were many fir trees in the woods.

      When we moved in 1956 my dads cousin Pete still had a few cows in the barn .

  2. Pingback: Robert Gertsch | Garden Home History Project

  3. Mike Norris says:

    I grew up on Hunt Club Lane, about 5 years younger than Shirley so knew of her and the Gertsches mainly because of the big hill and field behind their house with its oak grove and a wonderful hollow tree to play in. The annual Portland Hunt Club spring meet had an event in the 50s where the horses left the track (now OES?) and went over jumps riding up the hill in view from the grandstand.
    The hill was pretty good pheasant hunting in the 60s. Brother Andy had a Basset hound that we took there to flush birds, one shot and she ran home never interested in shotgun noise again.
    The flat lower north part of the property where the first houses were built later would form a nice lake in the winter. On the occasional cold winter, we had great ice skating on Gertsches Pond.

    • peter gertsch says:

      In 1964 I also shot a Duck . Took the it to my Grandpa wolf to clean so we could eat it.
      around uncle pete,s apple trees with my 12 gage shot gun , First and last one I ever shot.

  4. Pingback: Arranmore Development | Garden Home History Project

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